Studies have long touted that children with divorced parents are more likely to divorce themselves. However, new information suggests that parental conflict is the real culprit. In fact, children with divorced parents may have the same risk of divorce as children from low-conflict, non-divorcing families. In light of this, couples who are staying in a high conflict marriage "for the children" may wish to reconsider their decision. This may be especially true if their children seem to be especially sensitive to conflict within the home.
Children Fare Better in Divorce Than High Conflict Families
Published in the journal, Marriage & Family Review, the study examined data on more than 1,200 American families to determine if children of divorce, or if children of high conflict marriages, were more likely to divorce later in life. Collected from 1987 to 2003, the data consisted of parental questionnaires on conflict within the marriage, confirmation regarding whether or not the marriage dissolved, and the relationship status of the adult child. All adult children were aged between 18 and 25 upon completion.
Results showed that, when it came to high levels of conflict in the home, children actually fared better if their parents eventually divorced. In fact, those that came from high conflict families involving divorce fared about the same as children from low conflict families. However, children whose parents decided to stay together, despite marital conflict, seemed to have a significantly higher risk of divorce later in life. This suggests that it is conflict, not divorce, that actually increases divorce risk for children.
Daily Conflict Diminished by Divorce
Experts have a number of theories as to why and how children from high conflict families benefit more from divorce than previously thought. Probably the most obvious one is that, once divorce occurs, day-to-day contact is reduced. This can minimize conflict exposure for the parents, as well as the children. Further, some parents may actually manage to co-parent more successfully after divorce. Again, reduced contact is thought to be at least partially responsible. Whatever the reason, children seem to reap benefits when high conflict families separate.
Contact Our Family Law Attorneys for Help with Your Divorce
If you are planning on filing for divorce, or have put off filing out of concern for your children, Mevorah Law Offices LLC can help. Our attorneys are committed to assisting you through the complex legal process of divorce and we will protect your family, every step of the way. Skilled and experienced, we take the time to carefully examine the details of your case and will provide an honest, clear assessment of your situation to ensure you know your options. Learn more by scheduling a free initial consultation with our Joliet divorce lawyers. Call us at 815-726-9200 today.